What I love the most is being in the kitchen, creating recipes (and dancing during said process). I often take for granted the arsenal of gadgets and kitchen essentials I have at my disposal. Not only do they help make the task at hand easier, but they make being in the kitchen so much more enjoyable. There is nothing better than being able to scrape out every last bit of cookie dough from a bowl because you have the perfect sized spatula, Honestly, you can’t go wrong buying me a kitchen gadget for a gift. I love them. And over the years I have acquired quite a few that are now my “essentials list”.
This list is a bit long and some of the items here are expensive, but I’ve had the kitchen aid mixer for 5 years now, and I use the Ninja every single day. If I was just starting out, I would say the absolute must have items on this list below are “a really good knife set, various size cutting boards, various sized glass bowls (with lids), and a good set of pots and pans.
I currently suffer from “I don’t have any more room in my kitchen to acquire new items” but that isn’t going to stop me from asking for the items on my “lust list” for Christmas! Links below are affiliate links!
The Ultimate Kitchen Gadget List
Ninja Mega Kitchen System
I use my ninja every single day. I make pancakes in the blender on the weekend, I make my green smoothies in the single serve cup before work every morning. I didn’t know how much I would love the single serve blender until I got it. Best green smoothie – frozen spinach, 1/3 of a banana, protein powder, frozen berries, chia seeds, and almond milk. The food processor is great at making almond butter, hummus, califlower rice, banana ice cream. This was definitely worth the splurge (I got mine on sale at BJ’s for $200).
I picked up this beauty one year during Black Friday shopping. This is my trick to making pancakes every Saturday and Sunday morning. I used to make them one at a time and would always be stuck eating cold pancakes or eating them standing up watching the next batch cooking. I also love this baby when I’m doing food prep on Sunday nights. I can grill up zucchini, squash, asparagus and peppers all at once. Life saver and major time saver!
Glass bowls with lids in various sizes
Various sized mixing bowls are essential in the kitchen. I often find myself working through 3-6 bowls in one recipe, just mixing things along the way or having multiple ingredients that need to go into a final dish. Also when baking, its great to have a small bowl to crack eggs into and a large bowl to mix flour and dry ingredients in. I also use my glass bowls to store the food I make for the week in . I prefer glass bowls over plastic because it doesn’t absorb flavors and get funky smelling but also because I believe that heating things in the plastic is probably not the best practice for everyday life.
Like I said before, there is nothing quite like being able to get into the nooks and crannies of the bowl when you make the ultimate cookie recipe. Also homemade almond butter tends to want to stay in the food processor bowl and needs some gentle coaxing out. You don’t want to waste almond butter do you? A small spatula is essential in the kitchen if you eat a lot of nut butter (like we do), that is not to be wasted in this house!!
Kitchen Aid Mixer
My Kitchen Aid is and was my pride and joy. I love this thing! Cookies, mashed potatoes, frosting. I grew up with a Kitchen Aid in the house and would go back to my mom’s to bake until I got one of my own. I must say, there is just something about having both hands to work with when baking that just makes this an essential to me. Plus there are some pretty awesome attachments for these now. I need a new whisk attachment, as mine was lost in the last move 🙁
Silicone Cupcake Liners
I bought these on a whim walking through Target a few weeks ago. These things make life so much easier. Nothing sticks to them. I am notorious for making muffins that the traditional paper liners stick to and you end up throwing away half of the muffin because there is little bits of cupcake liner stuck to every single little crevice. NO MORE though! I must buy more of these because I want to make candy soon!
Really good knife set
Sharp knives = less injury in the kitchen. Hands down the most important kitchen utensil is a sharp knife. Side note: it’s important to know what the knife was made for, and then using that knife for that purpose. For example, a paring knife, is the best knife to cut the hull out of a strawberry; not the knife you want to use to cut into a butternut squash or try to chop onions with. A huge chefs knife, is the best for chopping through large amounts of food at once such as mincing onions, carrots, peppers. Serrated knifes are for cutting things like bread and tomatoes. The trick with a serrated knife is that you use a sawing motion instead of chopping. Using knives property is the best way to avoid injury in the kitchen.
Large, medium and small cutting boards. I prefer wood cutting boards, they are easier on your knives and have a little give. Also, they make great serving trays as well. Having various sizes is great, as you really want something big enough to cut that watermelon or butternut squash on but also don’t want to have to wash that watermelon sized cutting board every time you want to cut some cheese or strawberries. I would recommend having a plastic cutting board that you can put into the dishwasher for meat, poultry and seafood. Cutting these items on a wood board is salmonella waiting to happen.
I just got a veggie spiralizer last month. I have to say, it’s pretty awesome. The one I got has multiple settings which allows for various thickness of noodle and has bowl attached to catch the noodles as they are being made. I have a handheld spiralizer as well, which if you have the patience for is great, but I ended up cutting my hand pretty bad with mine (ahem: lack of patience) 🙁
I love this thing. It’s my toaster but also is a small oven that I use to roast fish and almonds in the summer time or really anytime I don’t want to turn on the big oven and heat the entire house. My toaster oven is big enough that I can make flatbread pizzas in it. Ummm yes that happens, ALOT. The best part is that this little baby heats up instantly and is pretty darn accurate when it comes to the temperatures. I also love that it will turn off after the set time. This is great when I am roasting fish in the morning while I’m getting ready or when I’m toasting almonds and walk away….I always walk away…. always.
Digital Kitchen Scale
I use my digital kitchen scale for everything. Measuring ingredients. Counting macros. Meal prep. You name it, this baby stays on my counter at all times. I like the option to be able to go from ounces to grams with just the touch of a button and that I can easily zero out the scale as I’m adding ingredients or the weight of a bowl.
A rice cooker and the George Forman grill would be Dave’s recommendation. If you are eating rice on a daily basis, invest in one of these babies. Your life will change. Dave’s did. He has chicken and rice almost everyday for one of his meals and was always complaining about how tedious a task it was to make enough rice for the week if you constantly have to monitor the pot on the stove.
Lust List – Gadgets I want!
Ceramic Baking Sheets/Dishes – I had a ceramic baking sheet that I used for everything, pizza, cookies, roasting veggies, etc. I unfortunately left it in the oven of my old house when I moved (who checks the oven?). I have yet to replace it but plan on getting at least one if not 2. Oh and I lust after a ceramic cupcake dish as well. They just transfer heat so well!
Digital Food Thermometer – For candy. And Thanksgiving. And homemade lattes and chocolates. Did I mention candy?
Immersion Blender – I love making my own tomato sauce, tomato and butternut squash soup and am often transferring 2-3 batches of hot liquid in to the blender to get the right consistency to my dish. Would love the convenience of this for those times.